Castleford and Leeds go head-to-head in a West Yorkshire derby at Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park as they round off the first day of action at Magic Weekend. Read all the build up here:
Just one change has been made from the squad named to take on St. Helens last Saturday, with centre Kieran Gill replacing Gadwin Springer.
Nathan Massey, who has not featured for over a month, is set to make his comeback from a shoulder injury.
Ben Roberts (calf), Greg Eden (hamstring), Luke Gale (fractured kneecap) and James Clare (broken leg) all remain sidelined.
A Tigers team missing a number of key players have lost two consecutive games for the first time this season, but a win in the North East would see them put a three-point gap between themselves and Leeds who sit just one place below them in the table.
Castleford Tigers 19-man squad: Greg Minikin, Jake Webster, Michael Shenton, Jamie Ellis, Junior Moors, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes, Mike McMeeken, Adam Milner, Nathan Massey, Jesse Sene-Lefao. Joe Wardle, Alex Foster, Matt Cook, Jake Trueman, Jy Hitchcox, Kieran Gill, Liam Watts.
Second rower Anthony Mullally serves the first of his two-game suspension after being charged with use of the knees in last Friday’s Challenge Cup win at Widnes so is unavailable. However, Carl Ablett is included after being forced off with an ankle injury at the Halton Stadium.
Brett Delaney returns after recovering from a shoulder problem that caused him to miss the last two matches and Ryan Hall is expected to be fit to play after he was left out last week due to a dislocated shoulder. Cameron Smith replaces Josh Walters in the only other change.
Leeds are still without Liam Sutcliffe (foot), Brad Singleton (broken hand) and Mitch Garbutt (knee).
After four defeats to Wigan between 2013 and 2016 and a loss to Castleford 12 months ago, the Rhinos are without a win at Magic Weekend since a 37-22 win over Bradford Bulls at the Etihad Stadium in 2012.
Leeds Rhinos 19-man squad: Ashton Golding, Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Joel Moon, Richie Myler, Adam Cuthbertson, Matt Parcell, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward, Brad Dwyer, Brett Delaney, Brett Ferres, Nathaniel Peteru, Ash Handley, Jack Walker, Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki.
HEAD TO HEAD
Castleford have had much the better of the clashes with Leeds in recent years, winning 9 of the last 10 meetings including a 25-24 win at Elland Roach in March and a 29-18 success at last year’s Magic Weekend.
However, the Rhinos did manage to get the better of Daryl Powell’s side in the 2017 Grand Final in their only win over the Tigers since April 2015.
KEY BATTLE- Paul McShane v Richie Myler
McShane always tends to perform well against his former employers and Castleford will hope he does so again if they are to improve their fine record against Saturday’s opponents.
The 28-year old has switched between his usual position of hooker and scrum half since Luke Gale was injured, and he will need to direct the Tigers around the field in attack if they are to cause Leeds as many problems as they have done during their run of dominance in this fixture.
Richie Myler has been one of Leeds’ most consistent performers this season, providing 19 assists so far, and will be on a high after his try and drop goal helped his side progress to the quarter-final of the cup last week.
With a number of forwards out, the Rhinos may have to rely on the creativity of players such as Myler rather than brawn, so he will need to be at his best if the champions are to get back to winning ways in the league.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 19th May 2018
Venue: St. James’ Park
Referee: Chris Kendall
WHO WILL WIN?